Written by: Micky Fenix
The name may be unfamiliar to those who live outside Pampanga or have not visited the Clark Freeport Zone since or even before the pandemic. But for people who love casinos, staycations and restaurants serving up the best cuisine this side of town has to offer, Hann Resorts is the place to go, whether it’s for all those experiences or just one or two .
Hann Resorts is known as the first fully integrated resort north of Manila. It is home to Central Luzon’s first five-star hotel, Clark Marriott, and the Philippines’ first Swissotel, which together operate 15 food and beverage outlets. They dominate TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Best Restaurants in Clark.
The esteemed property takes Clark’s dining scene to the next level with international flavors including Korean, Japanese, Chinese, American and Italian cuisines, serving both authentic and Filipino-inspired flavors.
Hann Resorts is undeniably the new culinary destination in Pampanga.
During my first day, the promise of Peking Duck was enough to rush me to WU XING Chinese Restaurant. This restaurant is known by locals and tourists alike for its authentic Peking duck, which is marinated and roasted with locally sourced star apple firewood, resulting in tender and flavorful meat with crispy skin.
There I met Chef Lucas Zhou, who expertly sliced the crispy skin while the servers wrapped it into plain pancakes. The remaining meat was fried and eaten wrapped in lettuce. We would have been satisfied with that, but the specialties continued to fill our table: pieces of dim sum, rice in an unusual green shade and vegetables to assuage our guilt.
When dessert arrived we were very grateful because we had already eaten so much. The Macau-style fried egg tart was creamy and crispy, and the bun filled with milky egg cream provided a light and satisfying ending, complemented by the restaurant’s excellent tea.
For dinner we headed to SMOKI MOTO where a luxurious grilling and dining experience awaits us. Although the name of the restaurant evokes something smoky, you might describe it as a steak restaurant, but still leaning towards Korean and Japanese cuisine because of the different offerings.
To set the mood, cocktails were served on the veranda overlooking the Zambales Mountains. Guests just had to have the mountains as the backdrop for their souvenir photo of the place. And then we got called up for the main event.
We had a thick Black Angus marble steak, cooked to a perfect medium rare the way I like it. But before that we got the Korean appetizer group, then Japanese sushi and then a salad. That would have been enough for the night, but when the steak arrived, the smoky aroma hit us immediately and we ate our steak with a flourish. And so the other tables must have done the same, although some were able to finish a 1.6kg Tomahawk steak, some decided to cook their own steak on the table grill, while others preferred lighter Korean dishes such as Bibim Magguksu, a cold noodle. salad dish.
Dessert didn’t seem possible at first, but we were convinced to try the Pinatubo molten lava cake. A perfect name, wouldn’t you say, as the volcano lay dormant for centuries and then vented its full fury to Pampanga and beyond, a good story to tell to guests who may not know. But whatever they called it, the cake was so tasty, gooey and delicious.
Before we went to my well-deserved rest, we were told not to eat too much for breakfast because we were going to have brunch. It was hard not to give in to the temptation at MARKT, where my breakfast offered so many choices. It seems the name is missing an ‘e’ because the buffet place is reminiscent of a European marketplace.
A long strip near the wall allows food to be cooked to order, although there is also cooked food along the counter. A short walk leads to the round buffet with more choice and where one can have a lighter meal as we were requested. So my breakfast consisted of a choice of fruit, yoghurt and a little bread concoction. The Market is also open for lunch and dinner and offers dishes to suit individual preferences.
Our weekend stay made it possible to experience Sunday brunch at RISTORANTE DI VERONA from 11:30 am. It’s a different atmosphere when you walk in as there is a DJ serving up modern dance music but not pushy for conversation. You can do chair dancing or stand up and burn those calories.
Cocktails were offered by the bartender as desired.
There was a choice of olive oils, some infused with herbs and aged, for example to dip your bread in, but be warned that too much fun with it will leave you too full to enjoy the rest of the brunch offering.
Oysters as a starter, for us, especially when we are told that this is the famous fine de claire from France, prepared in three ways: fresh, Rockefeller, fried.
Next was the charcuterie choice of salami and prosciutto, cheese choices with Padano and gorgonzola.
I just had to have Gnocchi Tartufo, my favorite potato dumpling with a creamy sauce enriched with truffles. Luckily the pizzas were small in size.
For those who enjoy brunch, the buffet offers meatier choices such as verandatta, Wagyu burgers, steaks such as tenderloin, roasted chicken and fish such as salmon fillet and cod.
Who could ask for more? Oh yes, something from a wide collection of wines visible to diners and some of the decor. And yes, of course, the Italian desserts such as mascarpone cheesecake, fruit tarts and candied banana mille fuille.
It is advisable to request a late check-out for those leaving that day to fully enjoy the belly-filling taste experience of this Sunday brunch.
There are more choices of restaurants at Hann Resorts and it takes more than a two day stay, weekend or not. GOJI KITCHEN + BAR, for example, offers a buffet of international dishes under the expert guidance of Chef Robert Czeschka.
But here is also a specialized Kapampangan station that offers a taste of local Kapampangan cuisine at home, where one can enjoy the already renowned sisig and the buro or fermented shrimp for both the die-hard Kapampangan food lover and the adventurous eater.
Included in the offer is the Noodle Bar, where you can get a range of Asian noodle specialties. And the menu changes often, so the next visit offers a whole new selection.
And to take a break from gaming or the heavier offerings of the other eateries, try SPICE. It is the place where you can enjoy Asian street food in an infinitely better setting of a clean, relaxed and cool environment. And yet Spice gives the atmosphere of street food cooking, such as high flames during wok exercises, making stir-fried noodles such as pad Thai or the many types of fried rice. And drink it all down with Asian drinks like branded and Philippine craft beers, spiced iced tea, coffee and soda.
Whether you’re looking for a casual snack or an elaborate dining experience, Spice always delivers. With its excellent service and flavorful offerings, Spice has rightfully claimed its position among Clark’s best dining options.
Ready to experience a world of culinary excellence? On your next visit up north, make sure you don’t miss a trip to Hann Resorts, where you can treat your taste buds to a diverse range of offerings, conveniently located within Clark Marriott and Swissotel Clark.
For reservations, please contact Swissotel Clark: HB6N4@swissotel.com | (045) 306 2000 | @swissotelclark and Clark Marriott firstname.lastname@example.org | (045) 598 5000 | @clarkmarriott. Follow Hann Resorts Facebook and @hannresorts_ on Instagram for the latest news about their restaurants and bars.